“Please Come Back,” Liahona, July 2021
When I was 12 years old, my oldest brother brought home the full-time missionaries, who introduced us to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Soon, my mother started taking my two brothers, my sister, and me to church. Before long we all got baptized.
Little by little, however, we stopped attending. I always liked the Church, but when I was 17, things in my life directed me to a different path. I tried to be a good person, and I never had a bad heart. But I got lost and started living the ways of the world. Without my knowing or realizing it, the world grabbed me.
Then I met Vanessa. One day after we’d been together a while, she said, “We need religion in this house.” By then we had three children.
With the world as it is, we worried about what spiritual direction we were going to give our children. I thought that if I was going back to religion, I would go back to my church. I remembered it was a place with good people.
I talked to a member of the Church and told him I was thinking about returning to church.
“Please come back!” he said.
My biggest worry was that my children would think church was boring and wouldn’t like it, but they did like it. As we continued going to church, Vanessa decided that there was nothing similar to the Church that helps families grow together. It was exactly what she was looking for. Vanessa and I got married, and she and our children got baptized.
Now we’re walking the gospel path as a family. Our goal is to be sealed together in the temple.
During construction of the Rio de Janeiro Brazil Temple, I walked by it nearly every day. I would tell my friends, “One day, I’m going to get married in this building.”
“Man, you say the same thing every day!” they said.
I said it every day because I knew that the temple was getting closer to being completed, and I wanted to remind myself to keep doing the right things so that our family could be sealed together. This is the desire of my heart.
I know that my children will start learning more about the world and go through some of the same things I went through. But as I share my experiences with them, I say, “Please don’t even get close to the things I did because it’s not worth it.”
I encourage my children to study the gospel of Jesus Christ and focus on being missionaries now so they can bless others. They don’t understand everything, but they are learning. This is what I wish for them.